Monday, May 27, 2024

Mark Grain named Extreme E Technical Director

Extreme E has created a new position of Technical Director, which will oversee the development side of the series as well as its upcoming Extreme H sister series. On Monday, the series named Mark Grain to the post, ending his longtime tenure at McLaren Racing.

“Having experienced Extreme E first hand as a competitor and loved every minute, when the chance came to join the championship, I jumped at it,” said Grain. “Extreme E continues to evolve and break new ground in motorsport, having already established many firsts which make its appeal so unique. The opportunity to play a part in its future is incredibly exciting, especially with the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell racing.

“We don’t want to sit back; we want to continue to push and evolve. Extreme E already has a track record of challenging common assumptions and ways of going racing, and I share the strong ambition to maintain that momentum.”

Grain had worked at McLaren for nearly three decades, starting on the sports car side where he was the senior technician for the F1 GTR programme that won the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. His rise through the ranks brought him to the Formula One side, serving as the chief mechanic when Lewis Hamilton scored the 2008 World Drivers Championship followed by working in managerial roles. Before heading off to Extreme E, his final roles were as a manager for Arrow McLaren in the NTT IndyCar Series and NEOM McLaren XE.

Prior to McLaren, Grain was a test team mechanic for Benetton and Williams Racing, helping the latter win the 1992 and 1993 F1 World Drivers and Constructors titles.

Under Grain’s leadership, NEOM McLaren XE débuted in Extreme E in 2022 with a fifth-place championship finish courtesy of Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust. Two rounds into the 2023 season, the team is sixth with a runner-up in the second Hydro X Prix.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark to Extreme E as our new Technical Director,” offered Extreme E CEO Alejandro Agag. “His relentless pursuit of excellence has earned him a stellar reputation in the industry and this, combined with his unrivalled expertise and passion for sustainable motorsport, make him the ideal candidate for this new role.

“We believe his expertise will be invaluable in shaping the technical future of Extreme E and driving innovation within the championship, while there will also be significant focus on preparations to launch Extreme H, a world-first hydrogen motorsport series.”

The hiring was effective immediately. Grain’s first race in his new gig will be the Island X Prix on 8/9 July.